Taking the Morning Off

As I walked out to get the paper, I looked at the pile of trim left to put on the shed.  I have it cover up with black plastic and it makes me wonder what wonderful things are living under there.  My decision is if I want to start the trim work now that I have finished the roofing.  The sooner I get it finished the sooner I can really start some of the other projects.  It is my Mother's Day gift to Barb and I kind of would like to have it available for her to use before the 4th of July.  Most of the work left is trim and painting.  I have my mind set on having a young nephew paint it. 

This morning in the paper one of the staff writers wrote about his first turkey hunt in three years.  I enjoyed the story but have no real desire to shoot a turkey.  I enjoyed the merry band of male turkeys that came to visit my feed plot this spring.  I seldom saw them in full strut and showing of their spectacular plumage.  Perhaps next year I'll get one female decoy and see if I can elicit a grand display.  I am about finished for the year and I guess my next move is to take the batteries of my Trail Cam.  I can always look at the days and days of recorded pictures.

The paper today was pretty full of stories about Servicemen and their experiences.  Not much mention of the women that served.  I find that shortsighted but I do wonder if the fact that a lot of the servicewomen I know went on to focus their lives on their children instead of sitting around the VFW and finding ways to relive their glory.   That leads me to another thought.

WARNING - Some of the following may be offensive and you have my permission to move on if you are easily offended.

I don't get what it is about the young men and women that leads the guys to become predators and to harm or rape the very people they serve with.   I can imagine that the females set out to serve their branch of the service much the same way the men do.   In my case, I took an oath to my wife and there was just no way I would ever wanted to make a mistake and harm the very people I worked with.   Oh sure, I had desires and thoughts but I did not ever put them into action.  I for one would put it in writing to every commander that it must stop and I would knock their "dicks in the dirt" for anyone that forces a female soldier to perform any illegal act.   Immediate incarceration and dismissal if found guilty. 

I am proud to say that I know many fine soldiers of both sexes and am proud to have served with and commanded many.  One of my retired Warrant Officer fiends met me in Wal-Mart one day and told me he hadn't forgiven me for what I did to him.  I was at a loss to know what he was talking about until he gave me the rest of the story.  He had been in charge of a female employee that worked in another city.  She complained that he had sexually harassed her and was now trying to fire her because she didn't come across.  I brought in one of my young officers and told him to conduct an investigation and if my friend was guilty, I wanted him fired.  As it turned out, everyone said that there was no truth in the allegation and the woman was actually using the charge to cover up her incompetence and failure to do the job.  I had her fired and moved on.  I guess the someone told my friend what I said and it was not until we had our conversation did I even know he had heard what I said.  In our conversation, I pointed out that the Warrant Officer had not been fired and went on to a full career.  I was trying to set the tone for the people that worked for me and sometimes the law of Unintended Consequences (or Utterances) set in in this case.  At the time, I was very engrossed with a problem with my recruiters and their failure to maintain the high standards of the Service.  I am not sure he has forgiven me but he at least has both sides of the story.

One problem in all of this is that a lot of times relationships are consensual and I do have problems with that also.  There is no room for a relationship between superior and subordinate.  One wise old sage said "Don't put your peter in the payroll."   I also had little support for people that used the Army as an excuse. It is difficult enough for our families with all the time we put into our jobs without using that time loss to conduct an affair.  I know at least two officers that while they were on official business had affairs and fathered children,  The first guy didn't admit his fault and it worked the way back up the chain of command from the Political side of the house.  By the time the Adjutant general found out he had no choice but to fire the guy.  In fact this was really strike two so it was deserved.  The other guy was a fine young officer with a promising career that easily would have finished with him as a full Colonel.  He was stopped as a Major and only because he came in and fell on his sword and admitted it all early, he was allowed to complete his 20 years and retire.  In both of the cases, the sex was consensual and they did not use birth control to prevent a happy accident.

Oh well, I had better stop talking out of school about things that really don't convey my pride in the Service men and women I have known.  I also want to point out that there were many fine support people that made it all possible.  Their kind works and smiles made it all easier.  Salute to the Debbie's, Mary's, Dawns, Karen's and Rosanna's that made it all possible.   I wish I could remember all their names as clearly as I see their faces in my fading memories.  Happy Memorial Day.

COL, (Ret)

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